Published On: Wed, Jan 23rd, 2013

Inauguration 2013

Michele Obama’s bangs and her midriff high ornamental girdle were the talk of the town at the President’s inaugural ceremony, one of world’s grandest displays of symbol politics. No, not a word from the First Lady about, “ It takes a village to raise a child,” or “no child left behind,” Michele was, according to close observers, all about looks and none about substance.
On Sunday, the two Obama daughters stood glued to their designated spots in the Blue Room of The White House, yawning, while witnessing papa’s swearing in as the 44th President of the United States. Commentators had nothing more to say than, “How tall they have grown in just four years!” The saluting image of a three year-old John-John Kennedy will forever upstage all presidents ‘children, but yawning teenage spoiled brads instead was more than I could stomach.
Obama, the candidate of Change of four years ago, had vanished. An older, wiser, greyer and mostly lame duck leader emerged instead. It took a billion-dollar election campaign to get Obama reelected. After a poor start, the President won hands down over the clownesque Tea Party-Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. The arrogant Republican millionaire businessman claimed to know how to fix the economy but was never ready to share his vision with anyone. His visionary gospel will most likely remain under wraps forever, enshrined in a golden tomb in the Tabernacle Church of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Symbol politics, pomp and circumstance with grand fanfare at Harvard University in Boston fascinated Joachim von Ribbentrop, the party ideologist of Hitler’s NSDAP, so much that he adopted the entire parading charade and vigorously worked it into the annual mass meetings of Neurenberg in 1927, 1929 and 1933 till 1938.
“Morality of the Triumph des Willens,” according to Von Ribbebtrop and can never be legislated but only established by new strong moral leadership. Von Ribbentrop was the man who put Hitler’s dubious ideology as a grand entertainment show of victorious masculinity on a towering high platform in front of applauding, jubilant masses of millions. Stalin, Khrushchev and successive leaders of the USSR culminated their propaganda and symbol politics in giant military parades on Moscow’s Red Square displaying shows of mega military might, ready to conquer the entire world. Kim Yong UN’s goose stepping millions of troops in North Korea foreshadow similar aspirations. The Catholic Pope follows suit with his annual massive displays of devote Easter ceremonies. The annual display of the Dutch Queen riding in a gilded horse drawn carriage on a short trip to parliament is only a pale and fast fading ceremonial copy of lost symbolism.

The grand American day of symbol politics of presidential inauguration cost the nation US 173 million four years ago. The total costs of 21 January 2013 are estimated to be a little less, but the numbers are not transparent, we may never know.
Was it worth the expense? Big fuss was made over the bible of Martin Luther King, used for the swearing in ceremony. Although the United States insists on separation of church and state and affirmation with a mere, “ I do”, is allowed, presidents prefer to take a holy oath with their hand on a bible or in Obama’s case even two bibles. Washington even kissed the bible afterwards and subsequent presidents followed suit, up to Harry Truman. Even in an age that the Stone Wall-gay bar conflict can be mentioned freely in an inaugural address, US presidents cannot afford yet to be atheists.
Diversity and integration was celebrated with some outlandish fanfare. Latin American Poet laureate Richard Blanco oracled incomprehensible words, much like once the witch of Delphi, but the public roared. Grammy winner Afro-American Beyoncé ad lipped a pre-recorded “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and faked a near orgasmic performance in the freezing cold.

The waste of money on ceremony will have to justify itself. The new president has all the ingredients for a prosperous term. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have come to an end. The financial crisis has also come to an end and the economy is improving daily. Stock markets are rallying. The USA has an enormous windfall with giant natural gas reserves from fracking and will soon become energy independent. The deficit appears under control. So all things are looking up. Let it be.
Let us hope that this president with not, once again, become a Man of Change.

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